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Sports

February 15, 2018

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PSF receives cold response from PSA

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s efforts to earn rights to host lower prize money events are not getting a positive response from the Professional Squash Association (PSA), which seems more interested in making the circuit events attractive for top foreign players rather than helping budding locals to make up for lost time.

‘The News’ has learnt from well-placed sources that continuous efforts on the part of Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) over the last six months to get due share for the local players has received a cold response.

Either the PSA has failed to realise the gravity of situation or is not interested in helping Pakistan lift falling standard of the game in the country.Over the years, absence of international squash from Pakistan has left a bad impact on the local game. Though law and order in the country has been improved over the years but it seems that PSA is still reluctant to extend a helping hand to Pakistan by enabling the PSF to organise upto $50,000 PSA events.

Pakistan has a rich history of squash as the country dominated the international stage for almost 40 years.Unlike PSA, world cricket’s governing body — ICC — came all-out to Pakistan rescue by establishing a task force which slowly and surely ensured the return of international events to the country.

Squash lovers in Pakistan also expect the same patronage from the PSA and World Squash Federation (WSF). Sadly, that type of support does not seem to be coming from the both squash bodies. In majority of cases, the PSA has not shown any interest or a degree of urgency to help Pakistan out. What squash in the country needs at this time is holding of continuous ranking events for prize money of $10,000 to $25,000, enabling Pakistan’s emerging players improve their game and ranking and at the same time to get the required sponsorship to host such events.

Unless and until there is a local interest involved, sponsors stay away from supporting that particular event. Pakistan squash is in a rebuilding phase and needs vital support of international bodies.

The former world No 5, who played alongside Jansher and Jahangir, must be aware of the role played by the two legends in popularising the game around the world. The time is now ripe for the PSA and WSF to pay back and help streamline the game in Pakistan.

Despite repeated requests, Pakistan is not getting its due share of international circuit events. Almost all the professional players in Pakistan are ranked outside 60 so organising big prize money events means keeping local players out and paving the way for those who already are scooping up a big chunk around the world. Lesser prize money events are needed in the country. What Pakistan needs is a breathing space following the years of drought of international activities.

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